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T20 World Cup champions India suffer shock defeat to Zimbabwe

India lose to Zimbabwe in T20

India have suffered an embarrassment in their first match as T20 World Cup champions, going down to minnows Zimbabwe by 13 runs on Saturday in Harare.

Admittedly, the recently crowned champions sent a second-string side to play Zimbabwe, who did not even qualify for the T20 World Cup.

However, this will have not been the way they anticipated their reign as the best short format side in the world beginning.

“We weren’t up to our standards and I think everybody looked rusty,” said captain Shubman Gill after the match.

Zimbabwe manage to defend modest total

Coming into this match, India were heavy favourites at the top cricket bookmakers to win.

At the halfway point, live betting had them well ahead as well.

The Indian bowlers, though rusty from not much recent cricket, came out and bowled well. The home side were restricted to 115/9, with wicketkeeper Clive Madande top scoring on 29 not out from 25 balls.

Ravi Bishnoi spearheaded India’s bowling effort, taking four wickets for just 13 runs from his four overs.

However, Zimbabwe’s bowlers were able to capitalise on a rusty looking Indian batting lineup, folding the visitors for just 102 runs.

Things started poorly for India with Abhishek Sharma getting out in the first over. The cheap wickets continued, as Ruturaj Gaikwad, Riyan Pirag, Rinku Singh and Dhruv Jurel all fell for single figures.

Only Gill and Washington Sundar put up any semblance of resistance, scoring 31 (29) and 27 (34) respectively.

“Halfway down, we had lost five wickets and it would have been best for us if I had stayed there to the end but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” said the Indian captain of his knock.

“Very disappointed with the way I got out and the way this whole match turned out.”

India have little time to lick their wounds, as the second T20I between the two sides gets underway this Sunday in Harare.

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